Online Fundraising Campaign Backs ISS Radio Upgrades

ARISS and AMSAT are supporting a FundRazr campaign to raise $150,000 for critical ham radio infrastructure upgrades on the International Space Station (ISS).

“ARISS is in critical need of infrastructure upgrades to ensure that programs such as talking to astronauts in space using Amateur Radio can continue,” ARISS International President Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said. ARISS seeks several upgrades, including new Amateur Radio communication and experiment capabilities, such as an enhanced voice repeater, updated digital Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS), and slow-scan television (SSTV) with image uplinks and downlinks in both US and Russian segments; next-generation radio systems that will support easier mode and capability transitions, and a multi-voltage power supply to support present and future radio capabilities.

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Remembering the Launch of Sputnik 1 — Earth’s First Artificial Satellite

October 4 marks the 61st anniversary of the launch by the Soviet Union of Sputnik 1, Earth’s first artificial satellite. The Soviets heralded the launch as a national triumph, and the space race between the USSR and the US began.

Sputnik 1 was a 58-centimeter diameter, polished aluminum sphere sprouting four antennas and transmitting a 1 W signal on 20.005 and 40.002 MHz, putting it within the range of nearly any radio amateur. Orbiting the planet about once every 96 minutes, Sputnik 1 could be seen from Earth. Following the launch, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology’s HF radio station WWV even halted its nighttime 20 MHz transmissions to avoid interfering with the satellite’s signal.

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